Common position – Citizens’ mobility : what is at stake for French social security ?

During the European Commission’s 2019-2024 mandate, no agreement was reached on revision of the regulations governing coordination of social security systems (Regulations 883/2004 and 987/2009). REIF and its members deplore this delay, given the urgent need to update the mobility rules in Europe. We call for this issue to be put back on the agenda as a top priority for the new European Commission, on the basis of the provisional agreement reached in 2021 under the Slovenian Presidency and the recent substantial progress made by the Swedish and Spanish Presidencies in 2023.

Tools developed in the meantime by the Commission, the Member States and the social security bodies, to promote mobility of European workers and citizens, also now require certain adjustments, so that they properly reflect new trends in mobility. This is particularly true of the role of the European Labour Authority, which must be better defined, and of the tools for the digitalisation of social security, to simplify procedures and cooperation between institutions.

Here are the main requests of the French social security institutions for the 2024-2029 mandate for Citiznes' mobility :

REQUEST No. 1: Maintain the revision of the coordination regulations as a priority for 2024-2029, including the 6 chapters; this is the only approach likely to enable rapid agreement between the Council and European Parliament, on the basis of the recent progress made under the Swedish and Spanish Presidencies, i.e.:

  • Revision of the unemployment chapter, with a shift to the core principle of Lex loci laboris,e. unemployment benefits for cross-border workers should be paid by the State of employment, since the current rules result in a disproportionate burden on the countries of residence of these workers.
  • A system of prior notification of posting to mitigate the risks of fraud and error. The agricultural and construction sectors should remain outside the exemptions to this obligation for prior notification, given the specific potential for fraud in these sectors.

REQUEST No. 2: Update rapidly the guidelines specific to the regime for multi-state workers in the Commission’s practical guide on the applicable legislation, to provide clearer guidance on this highly attractive regime; reevaluate the interplay between the coordination regulations and the directive on cross-border healthcare and create a European website showing the country-lists of healthcare services covered by the directive or the regulation.

REQUEST No. 3: Strengthen the role of the European Labour Authority in the area of social security, clarifying its tasks and fields of activity and developing its coordination role between Member States on issues of fraud and fake cross-border workers; improve dialogue and dispute resolution procedures, as well as identification of the digital tool needs of Member States.

REQUEST No. 4: Set clear objectives for the digitalisation of social security, ensuring full and complete functioning of the EESSI system in all the Member States, and clarifying the impact of the many digital social security initiatives intended to simplify procedures; set up a shared, secure database containing the essential data on mobile workers and citizens in order to facilitate access to health, identification and protection of mobile workers and to better combat fraud.

REQUEST No. 5: Adopt a pragmatic and global approach to mobility in Europe based on existing tools to find specific and operational solutions to the new, problematic forms of mobility: family structures, atypical workers, the self-employed, persons with disabilities and future enlargements.